arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter tiktok youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Top Camping Spots for Families in San Diego

Best campgrounds on the beaches and beyond

From sleeping to the sound of crashing waves to laying in a range of lions, here are some of the top places for families to camp in San Diego.

By: Chelsea Gladden; Mommy Blogger at Breezy Mama

Where to Spend a Memorable Night Under the Stars

With San Diego's amazing weather, setting up a tent or camper and enjoying the stars is the perfect way to end a sun-filled day. From the best ocean-front spots where you can sleep to the sound of crashing waves, to laying your sleeping bag in range of lions (yes, seriously), here are some of the top places for families to camp in San Diego.

Campland On the Bay

An award-winning area that hosts both tents and RVs, this Mission Bay site sits right on the bay. It’s also great for quick access to many of the downtown area attractions. In fact, campers will be treated to the seasonal fireworks show from nearby SeaWorld. Also on hand are concerts, volleyball, horseshoes, a pool and a skate park, along with many other bayfront activities.

San Diego KOA Resort

Offering more of the "glamping" style vacation is this camping destination located near downtown San Diego. Cabins include TV with surround sound, air conditioning, kitchens and more. If you prefer to rough it, tent spots and RV parking are offered as well. Conveniently located near many of San Diego's top attractions, enjoy your visit and finish off at the onsite pool.

Lake Jennings Park

Heading inland, this lakefront option is great for the family who likes to go fishing. Complete with a covered playground area for kids, paddleboat, rowboat or motorboat rentals are available onsite. With some of the best fresh water fishing in the county, make sure to bring your permit and license. Onsite day use passes are available for adults, and youth groups that make prior reservations can cast their lines for free.

Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve

For more fishing fun, park your camping gear at this 190-acre park. With seven lakes created from recycled water, enjoy nature via boat, biking and more. Opt to take your RV or tent, but if the outdoor lifestyle isn't for you, check out the floating cabins. Located on the waterfront with kitchen, flat screens and more, these are a happy medium for non-campers.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park: Roar and Snore

Enjoy an overnight adventure inside the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Sleep near lions and elephants (safely secured in their habitats of course), overlooking the park's African Plains field exhibit, which also includes giraffes, rhinos and more. Tents are provided and vary in pricing and options. The overnight stay includes dinner, a snack and breakfast, as well as up-close animal demonstrations. Roar and Snore is the ultimate experience for campers who want to be a part of the wild.

Carlsbad State Beach

Situated in North County San Diego, this campsite features oceanfront spots with easy access to the beach by day and the soothing sounds of crashing waves to lull you to sleep at night. Stretching 40+ acres, children can cruise the campgrounds on their bikes or scooters all the while catching views of white water waves. When hunger strikes, stock up at the store on the premises or hit the nearby grocery store for hot dogs and buns. Ideal for tents or RVs, reserve in advance as spots fill up quickly. Currently a Wi-Fi free zone, prepare to keep the focus on family fun.

San Elijo Campground

Similar to the Carlsbad State Beach site, this camping area is also beach front and ideal for families looking for some fun in the sun. Not only is there a family-friendly 360-degree ocean view taco stand on the grounds, but a camp store as well. Just a short walk outside the grounds you’ll find plenty of restaurants and coffee shops, for those who prefer a few more comforts of home.


Follow this link to discover more San Diego Camping Spots and Ideas!

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Things to Do

What's Hot|
Top Picks|
What's On

Save with Discount Passes to local Attractions

CityPASS and the Go San Diego Card provide multi-day passes for big savings on top attractions.  

Discover

Don’t Miss These Epic Events

Check out San Diego’s star-studded event lineup

Discover

Holiday Hotel Rates From $99

Find special hotel deals from Nov. 25 to Jan. 5.

Discover

The Capital of Craft

Hoppiness isn't far from happiness in San Diego. The craft beer experience is massive in this region, with more than 120 breweries, countless beer bars, innovative tasting rooms and a beer culture that's undeniably San Diegan.

Discover

Convoy Street - San Diego's Asian Restaurant Row

Home to Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese cultures and cuisines

Discover

Tiki Bars - Exotic rum punches and smoking volcano bowls

Exploring San Diego's tiki culture and scene reveals that it's not just a trend or lifestyle, it's a state of mind.

Discover

7 Spectacular Rooftop Restaurants

You don't come to San Diego to spend time in the great indoors. The weather, as advertised, is annoyingly perfect.

Discover

Del Mar Racing Season

Jul 20 - Sep 8, 2024

San Diego horse racing takes place where the "turf meets the surf" at the Del Mar Racetrack. Fans flock to the track each summer to wager on their favorite horses during the popular, annual Del Mar Racetrack racing season, mid-July - early-September. Be part of the magic and nostalgia of this long-time horse race tradition dating back to 1937 when Bing Crosby greeted the first guests, and Seabiscuit won by a nose in the infamous race in 1938. This season features the nation's top racehorses, trainers and jockeys, and plenty of fun in the sun.

 

Discover

Del Mar Racing Season

Jul 20 - Sep 8, 2024

San Diego horse racing takes place where the "turf meets the surf" at the Del Mar Racetrack. Fans flock to the track each summer to wager on their favorite horses during the popular, annual Del Mar Racetrack racing season, mid-July - early-September. Be part of the magic and nostalgia of this long-time horse race tradition dating back to 1937 when Bing Crosby greeted the first guests, and Seabiscuit won by a nose in the infamous race in 1938. This season features the nation's top racehorses, trainers and jockeys, and plenty of fun in the sun.

 

Discover

Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2024

The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the Bay off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Marina District and Coronado Ferry Landing. The impeccably choreographed display will last approximately 18 minutes.

Come down to the bay and enjoy the biggest fireworks show in San Diego!

Discover

San Diego French Film Festival

Jun 2 - Jun 5, 2024

San Diego Francophone Event of the Year

Discover

What's Hot

View More

Save with Discount Passes to local Attractions

Discover

Don’t Miss These Epic Events

Discover

Holiday Hotel Rates From $99

Discover

Top Picks

The Capital of Craft

Discover

Convoy Street - San Diego's Asian Restaurant Row

Discover

Tiki Bars - Exotic rum punches and smoking volcano bowls

Discover

7 Spectacular Rooftop Restaurants

Discover

What's On

View More Events

Del Mar Racing Season

Jul 20 - Sep 8, 2024
Discover

Del Mar Racing Season

Jul 20 - Sep 8, 2024
Discover

Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2024
Discover

San Diego French Film Festival

Jun 2 - Jun 5, 2024
Discover

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Activity

Show Your Badge & Save at the Maritime Museum!

Maritime Museum of San Diego
Valid: Apr 16 - ongoing

Come and explore our connection with the sea at the Maritime Museum of San Diego! Spanning 500 years of seafaring history, your visit to the Museum will give you a chance to step aboard an historic...

Activities

For a Great Time this Memorial Day- Just Add Wine!

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: May 24 - May 31, 2024

BOOK YOUR CHAUFFEURED VINEYARD ADVENTURE this month and receive a FREE souvenier tote bag when you mention this ad.  Sun & sip your way through ample tastings and large pours of local...

Restaurants

HAPPY HOUR AT ALLEGRO

Allegro Restaurant and Bar
Valid: Apr 18, 2024 - ongoing

Join us at Allegro for our Happy Hour Specials! Available Sunday - Thursday from 4-6pm. $6 House Wine by the Glass, $8 Well Drinks, Oysters and more!   See why we've been rated one of Little...

Events to check out

Event

Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2024

The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed...

Event

San Diego French Film Festival

Jun 2 - Jun 5, 2024

San Diego Francophone Event of the Year

Event

Bike the Bay

Aug 25, 2024

San Diego's finest annual cycling event across the Coronado Bridge and around the bay! Ride the bridge, Bike the Bay for the 17th annual ride on Sunday, August 25, 2024! Cruise around San Diego Bay...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China
Germany
Great Britain
Japan
Mexico
Korea
Switzerland
Brazil
France
Australia
Canada
USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans
Albanian
Arabic
Belarusian
Bulgarian
Croatian
Danish
Deutsch
Español
Estonian
Filipino
Finnish
Francais
Georgian
Greek
Haitian-Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Latvian
Lithuanian
Macedonian
Malay
Maltese
Nederlands
Norwegian
Persian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Swahili
Swedish
Telugu
Thai
Turkish
Ukranian
Vietnamese
Yiddish